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Doubleheader at Prairie Meadows

Futurity, Derby features top competition at Prairie Meadows.

October 12, 2012

John Hudson’s fastest-qualifier Ride My Wagon goes for his third-straight win in the $211,750 Valley Junction Futurity (G3) and John Lawless’ Eufaula Me is in a similar position in the $84,950 Altoona Derby (G3) to provide an inviting stakes doubleheader at Prairie Meadows on Saturday night.

Supporting the Futurity and Derby on the card is the $45,000 Two River Stakes (G3) at 440 yards featuring Hollywood Trickster and Jess A Runner.

Ride My Wagon (PYC Paint Your Wagon-Shawne Kate by Shawne Bug) makes her stakes debut after winning three of five career starts. She showed she is ready for the class jump to the graded stakes level when she overcame a rough start to win her Valley Junction trial by three-quarters of a length with a time of :17.682 for 350 yards, the quickest mark from four trials.

The Stacy Hill-Charette-trained Ride My Wagon broke her maiden in her second start and then, two starts ago, took a nonwinners-of-two allowance by three-quarters of a length.

Leo Buitell and Mike Schau’s Hada Certain Charm (Hadtobenuts-LK Classy Perk by Dash For Perks) should vie for the favorite’s role with his stakes credentials and four wins from six starts. The gelding won the June 24 Minnesota Stallion Breeders’ Futurity (R) at Canterbury Park and then was second in the September 2 Iowa QHRA Sale Futurity (R) over the Prairie Meadows straightaway.

Hada Certain Charm, from the Ed Hardy barn, impressed in his Valley Junction trial when he drew away to a 1 1/4-length win in :17.721, the second-fastest time.

Trainer Brent Clay is dangerous in the Altoona Derby with fastest-qualifier Eufaula Me and second-fastest qualifier Cruzin The Wagon.

Like Ride My Wagon, Eufaula Me (Okey Dokey Dale-Yawls Spreadn Rumors by Serious Rumors) has won his two previous starts, but has a stakes win two starts ago. The gelding was the 1-5 favorite in the September 2 Iowa Double Gold Futurity (R) and had to rally to get the neck win in :20.005 for 400 yards.

Eufaula Me came back at 1-2 odds in his September 29 Altoona Derby trial and scored an easier half-length win in :19.702 for 400 yards, the top time from the two trials.

Like Hada Certain Charm, Terry and Mary Louise Pursel’s Cruzin The Wagon (PYC Paint Your Wagon-Penelope Cruzin by Okey Dokey Dale) is not the fastest qualifier but certainly could be the favorite. She has been on a roll since winning last year’s Northlands Futurity (G3) and Valley Junction Futurity (G3). Including those victories, she has won six of eight starts, this year with wins in the March 17 Oklahoma Derby, May 20 Jack Brooks Stakes (RG3) and August 18 Keokuk Stakes (G3), and a second in the $246,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-Bred Derby (R) on April 14. Cruzin The Wagon is an earner of $296,629 with 10 wins and a pair of seconds from 13 starts and is the second-fastest qualifier with a time of :19.756.

In the Two Rivers, Christine Hovey’s Hollywood Trickster (Favorite Trick (TB)-Hollywood A List by Heza Fast Man) rides a three-race winning streak, including the May 28 Skip Zimmerman Stakes and the July 3 Great Lake Stakes at Canterbury in his two latest outs. The Hardy-trained gelding also was third in the 2011 Red Cell Prairie Meadows Distance Challenge.

JK Running Horses LLC’s Jess A Runner (Jess Louisiana Blue-Katiebug Driver by My Designated Driver) makes his second start off a seven-month layoff and figures to step forward. Before the layoff, the Kenny Laymon-trained gelding won the $75,000 Hialeah Invitational Championship on February 19. He was third in the 2011 running of the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos.